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Instead of firebricks? - Forno Bravo Forum: The Wood-Fired Oven Community

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Instead of firebricks?

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  • Instead of firebricks?

    Firebricks are expensive, so I wonder about alternatives. I can get "extreme-temperature cement" and use it to cover an oven floor of regular bricks for a slim fraction of the cost of firebricks. Is this any good?

    I've also found a "refractory sealing compound" that's made to "renew the high-temperature resistance and performance of worn firebrick." So, if I've got 3-6 inches of sand, then regular bricks, then the extreme-temperature cement, then the refractory sealing compound, would that not be a suitable oven floor?

    Basically, what's the cheap and effective way around spending $250 on firebricks?

    Thanks!

  • #2
    Re: Instead of firebricks?

    Old Common brick. Austin commons , Thurber commons, Ferris brick, Corsicana Cherry Reds, and D'hanis commons will all work, but may cost almost as much as firebrick.

    I don't know that I would recommend a castable for the hearth, and they are not cheap anyway.

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Instead of firebricks?

      The one thing those bricks that TS mentioned, they are clay bricks (I assume), not concrete. You can get away with a different type of brick, but it won't last as long... with that said, it's probably still a good way to go. When I take my temp one apart, I'm just going to use those. I found mine on Craigslist... $50 for 600!
      My oven (for now):
      http://www.fornobravo.com/forum/f43/...ven-14269.html

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      • #4
        Re: Instead of firebricks?

        Yes they are all dry pressed clay brick. They are all also low fired (except for the Thurbers), and were produced using almost the same clay bodies as firebrick.

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Instead of firebricks?

          Thank you for the advice on useable bricks. Since I'm designing a cob oven, I have wondered about simply building the oven floor out of a thick layer of cob. I will use powdered Hawthorne fire clay as the clay component to my cob, by the way.

          Off-topic: What's the consensus on the clay/sand ratio?

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          • #6
            Re: Instead of firebricks?

            Originally posted by tx-shane View Post
            Thank you for the advice on useable bricks. Since I'm designing a cob oven, I have wondered about simply building the oven floor out of a thick layer of cob. I will use powdered Hawthorne fire clay as the clay component to my cob, by the way.

            Off-topic: What's the consensus on the clay/sand ratio?
            I'm going to have a few bricks leftover....Where are you?
            Lee B.
            DFW area, Texas, USA

            If you are thinking about building a brick oven, my advice is Here.
            Our One Meter Pompeii Oven album is here.
            An album showing our Thermal Breaks is Here.

            I try to learn from my mistakes, and from yours when you give me a heads up.

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Instead of firebricks?

              Lburou- I live in Temple, so not real close. My in-laws are in the Ft. Worth area, though, so it's possible I'd be visiting up there before long. Your oven sounds pretty cool. I'm going to try a sort of double chamber cob design with a chimney, maybe fashioned after a snail or something goofy. I'm determined to have fun with the process.

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              • #8
                Re: Instead of firebricks?

                Drive to Elgin, you can get #2 firebrick for less than a buck (I think is is .45 Cents) at the Elgin-butler plant.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Instead of firebricks?

                  Originally posted by tx-shane View Post
                  Lburou- I live in Temple, so not real close. My in-laws are in the Ft. Worth area, though, so it's possible I'd be visiting up there before long. Your oven sounds pretty cool. I'm going to try a sort of double chamber cob design with a chimney, maybe fashioned after a snail or something goofy. I'm determined to have fun with the process.
                  You have a PM with contact info and Tscarborough has some good advice aabove
                  Lee B.
                  DFW area, Texas, USA

                  If you are thinking about building a brick oven, my advice is Here.
                  Our One Meter Pompeii Oven album is here.
                  An album showing our Thermal Breaks is Here.

                  I try to learn from my mistakes, and from yours when you give me a heads up.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Instead of firebricks?

                    I'm with Ts on this, I have to believe any bricks + extreme temp. cement + refractory sealing compound will cost nearly as much as the firebricks. If you are doing a cob oven, wouldn't you only need enough firebricks for the hearth? That shouldn't cost anywhere near $250 unless you live in Australia, where firebrick is worth more than gold.

                    My cost on 215 firebrick was $165.55 for the whole oven. The cost has since gone up but the same supplier is still only $.97 per brick. I would make a few calls to brickyards kiln/refractory suppliers, I'm sure you can find light or medium duty bricks for a $1.50 or less each. Trying to use that high temp cement and a refractory sealer is untested territory for everyone here, so I think you are totally on your own if you choose that route. Good Luck, whichever route you take

                    RT

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                    • #11
                      Re: Instead of firebricks?

                      Wow, these are some very helpful comments. Although I like the idea of forging into uncharted waters with the cement and sealer, local cheap firebricks gets me even more pumped up. Is there a strong oven community in Texas, or are we just over-represented in this forum?

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                      • #12
                        Re: Instead of firebricks?

                        They are $1.50 in Austin, probably 2-3 in Temple.

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                        • #13
                          Re: Instead of firebricks?

                          RT - Slight modification on firebricks in Oz: They aren't worth more than gold, they just cost more than gold...

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